• Kyodo News


An amateur astronomer in Kumamoto Prefecture said Sunday that he had recorded video of a flash of light that was apparently produced when an astral body collided with Jupiter.

Junichi Watanabe, a professor at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, said the observatory reported the incident to the International Astronomical Union after receiving a report about the video recording taken by Masayuki Tachikawa early Saturday morning.

“This kind of light is seldom filmed,” Watanabe said.

The astral body that hit Jupiter was probably less than 1 km wide because no trace of it was left at the spot where the flash was observed, Watanabe said.

Tachikawa, 52, made the discovery at home with his telescope in the city of Kumamoto. He said he saw something glow for about two seconds near Jupiter’s equator at around 3:22 a.m. Saturday.

“I took it for noise signals at first but I was really surprised because the image of the light remained on the video,” he said.

In a similar incident, Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided spectacularly with Jupiter in 1994.

Similar sightings of light on Jupiter were reported in June this year from the Philippines and Australia.

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